THE QUEEN OF SPADES "Unusual And Macabre!" ~ Leonard Maltin's Movie & Video Guide A gambling craze is sweeping 19th century St. Petersburg, yet a dashing Russian army captain (Anton Walbrook of THE RED SHOES) is too impoverished to participate. But when he learns that an aging countess (an award-winning performance by Dame Edith Evans of TOM JONES) may hold the ultimate key to gaming riches, the desperate young officer will stop at nothing to steal the sinister secret for himself. When fortunes are won and lost with the turn of a card, will one man wager his very soul on a final twist of fate? Yvonne Mitchell (DEMONS OF THE MIND) co-stars in this brilliant British chiller directed by Thorold Dickinson (GASLIGHT), featuring extraordinary cinematography by Otto Heller (PEEPING TOM, THE IPCRESS FILE) and based on the celebrated short story by Russian poet Alexander Pushkin. Includes AN 8-page Collector's Booklet.
Dead of Night/The Queen of Spades
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Top Customer Reviews
Anton Walbrook's talent, like Vivien Leigh's, was ineffable. His choices, as an actor, are so outlandish sometimes that you think he will never pull off the moment - then he stops right at the edge and leaves you gasping at the utter uniqueness and danger of his choice. Dame Edith Evans, in her film debut, playing a woman forty years her senior, is all remarkable, twisted, bitter, frightened restraint. (Rosie mentioned that Edith Evan's key moment of reaction, in the film, had so frightened the audience at the time that everyone screamed out loud. Not difficult to understand, even today...)
The lighting and camera direction are at once solid and ethereal; dreamy like Cocteau's LA BELLE ET LA BETE, and brutally unforgiving like Welles' CITIZEN KANE.
Much has been said about DEAD OF NIGHT and deservedly so. This genuinely is the grandfather of all psychological horror films. What seems so innocuous, almost gentle at first, develops into a disturbingly laden freight train barrelling straight towards you. There will be no way to escape. You will be knocked squarely off your tracks. Completely and utterly disorienting. Warning: do not watch this film alone at night. Don't even watch this film alone on a sunny day.
The picture and sound on each are very good and rich.Read more ›
Queen of Spades is not as famous as the other film, but it is also a true gem to be discovered. It tells the story of a russian officer who's obsessed with discovering the secret of winning at the cards. This obsession will have the most macabre implications. The production designer on this film is a true winner. So is the screenplay and the cinematography.
Here you have two great films for the price of one (positively two of the best films ever made by the Ealing Studios). Who can ask for more? The image on the DVD is fine on both films. There are no extras, but don't let that put you away: these films are worth it. If you (like me) love classic chillers, these are for you!
There's the race car driver's story, directed by Basil Dearden. Hugh Grainger (Anthony Baird) survives a crash but sees from his hospital window a horse-drawn hearse. The driver looks up at him. "Just room for one more, sir," he says with a smile. That's just the beginning.
There's the schoolgirl's story, directed by Alberto Calvalcanti.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Originating in the times pre-pre-digital, both plots and presentations of the black-and-white movies were executed professionally and well-performed. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Michael Kerjman
If you've never seen "Dead of Night," you should.
It's the grandaddy of horror vignettes.
The film quality is fair, at best.
Dead of Night is a stunning, scary, and extremely well done film. A 1946 British movie, it is, in my opinion, the finest movie ever made in this genre. Read morePublished 12 months ago by KatieLynne
Dead of Night is a very good movie. Others have, as usual, spoiled the plot for you, so I will comment only on the emotional impact of the film, and on its implications. Read morePublished 16 months ago by James Kenney
Such a beautiful and strange film!! It's in the same league as Cocteau's Beauty and the Beast and the Red Shoes. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Marie Joie Hughes
Britain's censors during WWII believed that horror films would have a negative effect on the British population, and did their best to curtail their production and exhibition. Read morePublished on February 15, 2014 by TLR
This 2-disc, 2003 DVD release of Dead of Night & The Queen of Spades from Anchor Bay is the only way to get these films in North America. Read morePublished on September 16, 2013 by MacheteJason
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